April 22, 2010

This is wonderful, from Talking Points Memo. They performed an analysis on how the chicken-for-checkup health care barter system might work out: Not a poultry sum, I\'d say



Will we really get a finanical reform bill?

April 21, 2010

President Obama is heading to the Big Apple tomorrow to press his case for putting some kind of leash on the financial predators who orchestrated this recession/depression.

In the meantime, Obama and Senate Dems may have faced down the Rs, who were threatening a health-care-like stall campaign. Perhaps McConnell & Co. noticed that investment bankers aren’t as popular as doctors?

NY reports this evening that legislation regulating derivatives passed the Senate Ag Committee (yes, Ag, they have jurisdiction over commodities) – One small step . . . .

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, writing at HuffPost, describes what we need – Need more steps, lots more . . . .

Four Senators are introducing their own legislation to break up the “too-big-to-fail” institutions, which should be a cornerstone of any reform – A bigger step . . . .


You can’t make this stuff up

April 21, 2010

(See UPDATE below)

Pay your doctor in poultry?

One Sue Lowden, an actual, living, breathing (if not necessarily thinking) Republican candidate for the United States Senate from Nevada, has proposed we barter with our doctors for health care. She told a local tv news program, in part, You know, before we all started having health care, in the olden days, our grandparents, they would bring a chicken to the doctor. They would say, “I’ll paint your house.” That’s what people would do to get health care . . . .

Crooks & Liars supplies video – Chickens for Checkups

This woman is the front-runner in the Republican primary to challenge Harry Reid. She actually leads Reid by double digits in polling. Would Nevadans seriously send someone who talked like this to the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body?

Perhaps so. Hey, there’s a long tradition of putting idiots and buffoons into elective office.

Ms. Lowden’s resume includes a Miss New Jersey title, a Miss America runner-up, an elementary school teacher (shudder) and a tv reporter/anchor (figures). She has been a casino executive and a state senator.

UPDATE – Seems that, as a casino executive, Ms. Lowden was not particularly concerned about her own employees’ health care – cluck cluck cluck Perhaps they should have offered chickens?

Candidate Lowdon is not content with saying something stupid. Called out for this absurdity, she, working through her spokesperson, defended it.

Americans are struggling to pay for their health care, and in order to afford coverage we must explore all options available to drive costs down, said spokesperson, one Crystal Feldman, told the crew at Talking Points Memo. Bartering with your doctor is not a new concept. There have been numerous reports as to how negotiating with your doctor is an option and doctors have gone on the record verifying this.

Hmmm, what do you offer the ER crew to give you a defib?

And just for the record, my grandparents never gave a doctor a chicken.


April 19th – a day both great and terrible in American history

April 19, 2010

Prologue – Just so you have some context, I am not anti-gun. I enjoy shooting, used to own several weapons, and believe responsible gun ownership is perfectly acceptable. That said, I reject the gun-as-sacred-totem (or penis substitute?) attitude that permeates the far right.

Now, onward with this post:

In the early morning hours of April 19, 1775, American Minutemen engaged British troops, first in Lexington, MA, and then down the road in Concord. It was the start of the Revolutionary War and the creation of a great legend that has since been twisted and contorted by violent, hard-right fanatics.

Read the history of what happened that day – Battles of Lexington and Concord

But more recently, the courage and audacity of the Minutemen – and their surprising success – has been appropriated by violent cowards who, egged on by conservative politicians and the Hate Radio and TV crowd, have been waving guns at the cameras and, in one case, carrying out the second most murderous act of terrorism in American history, in Oklahoma City, OK, in 1995 – Cowardice

Today, on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” host Terry Gross interviewed Richard Clarke, former national security advisor to Presidents Clinton and Bush (who fired him for telling him things he didn’t want to hear). Towards the end of the interview, Clarke talked about the threat of internal, right-wing terrorism in this country – Fresh Air Richard Clarke interview

Meanwhile, the loons were at it – Note the huge numbers, necessitating media interest . . . .

Crooks & Liars blog has a good post on this – Guns, guns, guns

And, just as a sidebar, you might be interested in reading how our country’s history has been distorted to help fuel right-wing violence in Garry Wills’ book, “A Necessary Evil.” Note, too, today there was lots of news about trust in government at an all-time low in the polls, with nary a mention of the years of propagandizing from the violent right that help create this atmosphere of mistrust.


NPR: Massey CEO Blankenship pulled down $17.8 million

April 18, 2010

While his mines became increasingly dangerous – Perhaps he could put some of that into a widows and orphans fund

And his salary doubled between 2007 and 2009. Doubt any of those miners who have to run the risks can say that.



April 16, 2010

Don’t hold your breath, but the Feds are after Goldman Sachs, at last – Would anyone like to discuss financial regulation again, hmmmmmmm?

And HuffPost follows up, saying there may be more thrills to come – Pinch me . . . .

Note, in this WPost story, how your tax dollars went into their pockets – Glimmer of hope for justice, for once . . . .

But will they make anything stick? Marketplace, NPR’s brilliant daily business program, talks with journalists Leigh Gallagher of Fortune Magazine and Megan McArdle of The Atlantic, who express some polite skepticism – Is SEC serious?


Iceland’s volcano

April 16, 2010


Check the Beeb’s coverage – Volcano

Reuters – Volcano

NYT News blog – How do you pronounce \"Iceland\"?